Developing Your Personal Brand Map, Part 2: Earning a PhD in YOUGwen Witherspoon
Alert! When you are going on this journey, you are the most central and important part in the whole thing. In the past, I thought that the vision was the most important. The vision was everything. My way of thinking was, “I’m going to prioritize this because it is impacting so many other people and doing so much good.”
Now, I realize that you are the beginning point. You are the foundation. You are the main ingredient of the vision as the keeper of it. You cannot do it by yourself, but it still begins with you.
I had the privilege of meeting a gentleman who is considered the biggest angel investor in the state of Georgia. I was going through some old notes, and I had written down that when he evaluates an opportunity, he is “betting on the jockey, not the horse”. I want you to take a moment to consider how important you are as a visionary.
I’ve also heard that when venture capitalists are looking for a business to invest in, they are looking for the entrepreneur. They’re looking for the team. They’re looking at the people involved in it. Frankly, they want to see who you are. What’s your character? What’s your track record? The latter doesn’t necessarily mean that they are looking for a string of successes.
Track record could be how you handle failure. What did you do? How did you come back? What did you learn from that? At the end of the day, it comes down to who you are. You can have all kinds of ideas, but if you cannot write your vision, assemble a team, and execute your plan, your ideas will go nowhere.
You are central to this story–who you are, where you’re going, what you want, how you’re going to go about doing it, how you respond, how you think. Your character development is critical. In order for you to navigate the wisdom gap between where you are and where you want to be, you need a map–a personal brand map.